Innovative Ministry

Innovative Ministry
No, A God-Sized Vision Doesn’t Need To Be Big And Scary
Faith and leadership are more about long stretches of waiting, wandering and wondering than massive, scary leaps.

Does God’s vision for our life, church and ministry have to be big to be real?

I keep hearing that it does. Sayings like “if your vision isn’t big enough to scare you, it’s not from God” have been popular for quite some time now. Apparently we’re ...

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Innovative Ministry
Bigger? Or Better? Yes, Your Church Has A Choice
“It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you’re maximizing growth, you’re also maximizing success.” (Bo Burlingham, in Small Giants)
Bigger? Or Better? Yes, Your Church Has A Choice
Image: From cover of Small Giants, by Bo Burlingham

Better churches become bigger churches. Right?

Maybe not.

That’s been the rule of thumb for businesses, too. And it’s no more true there than it is for us.

As it turns out, constant growth doesn’t work for the majority of churches or businesses. Yet they can still ...

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Innovative Ministry
Time, Not Money, Is The New Church Commitment Currency
Church giving patterns are changing. Here are 5 ways to get our churches ready for that reality.

The Sunday morning pass-the-plate offering has always been a reliable predictor of the commitment level of church members.

Long before they started leaving – often before many started complaining – people would express their dissatisfaction with a church by stopping ...

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Innovative Ministry
The Mission Deserves Margin: Minister To The Church You Have, While Preparing For More
While pastoring the people we have, we need to create in-house systems and outward ministry suitable for a church of double our current size.

A church of 50 people needs to be pastored like a church of 50 people.

You can’t act like a church of 500. Or even 100. The systems, methods and relationship dynamics simply won’t fit.

So how can a church grow, either in its size or effectiveness, if we’re only ...

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Innovative Ministry
6 Reasons Many Pastors Don’t Need An Office Any More
For most pastors, a desk in an office is one of the least creative spaces imaginable.

The pastor’s office is a time-honored tradition whose moment has come and gone for a lot of us.

Over the last 35-plus years of ministry, I have spent thousands of hours in my office. Joyful, frustrating, heartbreaking, boring, wonderful, life-changing hours. Hours spent ...

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Innovative Ministry
Pastoral Transition: Why Change When You Don’t Have To?
It’s not how we act when things stay the same that tests our strength and character, it’s how we act when things change.

Yesterday, I was back in my home church after being gone for a month doing conferences and taking some vacation time with my wife, Shelley.

We’ve taken time away before, of course, but this time it was different. Because when I came back yesterday, for the first Sunday ...

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Innovative Ministry
5 Ways Your Church’s Impact Can Become Bigger Than Its Footprint
When we equip the saints, the church’s impact can grow exponentially, even if its numerical or geographical footprint doesn’t grow noticeably.

Small churches can have a big impact.

Especially today, with the power of social media and other new ways of communicating.

But also, because so much of our lives are lived online, people are having a renewed longing for more personal, tactile, face-to-face experiences. These ...

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Innovative Ministry
Innovation Or Insistence? There’s More Than One Way To Reach Your Goal
If your usual door won’t open, be willing to try other doors. In most situations, innovation is often the best, most overlooked option.

Imagine a hallway full of doors, all of which lead to the same destination.

All your life, you’ve seen people go through one particular door, so you use it, too. But one day you try to go through that door and it won’t open for you.

What do you do?

Insistence says, ...

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Innovative Ministry
Leading A Church Through Difficult Times: A Lesson From “The Most Bombed Hotel In The World”
After almost 2,000 years of attacks from without and within, the fact that the church continues to not just survive, but thrive is nothing short of a miracle.
Leading A Church Through Difficult Times: A Lesson From “The Most Bombed Hotel In The World”

Leading a church is often a lesson in managing and overcoming frustration. Hopefully not all the time. But there are those seasons...

This week I’ve learned a great lesson about triumphing over extreme difficulty and frustration from a very unlikely source – a hotel ...

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Innovative Ministry
Innovation without Compromise: 5 Church Leadership Lessons from the Life of Billy Graham
Billy Graham's life and ministry is proof that taking a strong stand for the truth of the Gospel does not have to push people away.
Innovation without Compromise: 5 Church Leadership Lessons from the Life of Billy Graham

(Today, Billy Graham went to be with Jesus. I wrote this article three years ago. I repost it here now as my tribute to the man and his legacy.)

Most of us have never known a world without Billy Graham.

Graham came to international prominence in the historic Los Angeles Crusade ...

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